How to have a healthy relationship with technology


Cory, on audiobooks: Pay for an ebook version and then pirate the audiobook version. My audiobooks are mp3s… functionality isn’t as good but I’m not an idiot and can work a playhead :smile:

I was a customer for years, but I quit using Amazon MP3 the first time I was required to use their obfuscated cloud player to download a file.

Way to go guys, taking away the one thing that made your store appealing (the quick and straightforward purchase of a digital music file).

Banshee seems like an odd choice of software to exemplify “graceful failure”. I remember it being unstable almost to the point of unusability back when it was the default music player in Ubuntu - I think that’s the reason it was replaced by Rhythmbox in current versions of the distro. Maybe it’s come on a long way since then.

A friend of mine recently posted this article to Facebook, which seems to be in a similar vein.

I wanted to post a long rant in response to that post, but decided here is a better audience.


YES. YES. YES. This!

Having been in R&D meetings for software and for engineering products, developers just do not think about the user experience, or that most people do not care to download, update, get a push while they are writing an important email, interrupt their work in progress to reboot their computer to load up an update that does nothing as far as they can see.

They don’t care that they can use their phone to play music because they can’t figure out how to make the music stop quickly enough when they need to but on a radio they can just hit that big button that says OFF/ON.

I worked as a tech writer for many years; my main job was that when developers would create something ridiculous I had to explain to people what the heck it did and how to use it. If they did their jobs well, no one would read what I wrote. Sadly, I was never out of work.

Kitchenaid - good analogy. More Kitchenaid software please.

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This is closely related to key topic in Toronto over the past couple weeks.

A lot of people have only just discovered that although their VOIP phone might work as well as classic over copper phone, and it might save them a chunk of money each month, it does not fail the same way the classic copper pair does. With your VOIP home phone, you have somewhere between one and five hours after the power goes away, and then it goes away. If you have a cellphone, that might be an alternative, but only if the people calling you know to use it.

I have always been reluctant to part with my copper line, because that resiliency is really hard to replicate with the digital technologies. I’m with Cory on this one, but in a different direction – if you really can’t accept the way a new technology fails, then you have to be tough on yourself and not go there.

I work with communications. Why can’t we make the communications lines NEVER FAIL as the primary goal. That’s what I feel. EVERY other feature should be secondary to that.

Failure built in.
Please purchase prioritised comms package.
Price is 2x price of non-prioritised comms package.

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